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About the Quality Check Process for Letters of Recommendation

This article focuses on the quality check process of confidential letters of recommendation. All premium Dossier Deliver users will have their letters quality checked when the letters are received, when the account is upgraded to premium, or before letters are sent out for delivery. Letters are not automatically quality checked for basic Dossier users, but letters can be checked upon request. Every time new letters are received, Interfolio quality checks those letters within 1-4 business days. Communication is provided during this process whether that entails reassurance that the letter is approved or assistance if there are any errors.


All Dossier users will have their letters quality checked before they are sent. This process takes at most four days. However, processing could take longer depending on the overall volume of letters received. Interfolio does not restrict the user from using letters that are still pending a quality check.

Letters marked as problem documents will not be sent unless specified by the user or the letter writer. If it is marked as missing features, it will be marked with a warning and will still be sent.


Quality Check Statuses

Requester View

Dossier Deliver users will see a notification on the new homepage if any of their requested letters have issues, they can click on the link for more detailed information on the letters.

The status of the quality check will also appear listed on the Letters page. It will only be displayed for letters that have been received. The statuses can be interpreted as follows:

  • Pending: the letter has not yet been through the quality check process. This process takes 1-4 days
  • A red exclamation point: an issue has been found with the relevant letter.
  • A checkmark: the letter has passed the quality check process.
  • A half moon:  Letters with no signature or letterhead will have this status. This status alone will not cancel a delivery but is a warning to the user that if they need these items, they should reach out to their recommender to get an updated letter. The recommender will not be notified.
  • Blank: the letter has not yet been submitted in order to be quality checked

If you do not see a Quality Check column on your Letters page, your account has not yet been upgraded to Dossier Deliver. 


If the letter needs to be updated and replaced, have your letter writer follow the instructions from this help article: Replace Letters


Letter Writer View

Letter writers can view the quality check status of uploaded letters by following these steps:

  1. Navigate to Letters > Letters to Write 
  2. Select the Completed filter.
  3. Select View Details next to the uploaded letter. 
  4. Scroll down to the Quality Check section

When no issues are present, there are all green checkmarks. 

If the letter has issues, they will see the following symbols:

Status Warning Description
Half Moon This is a warning. Letters with no signature or letterhead will have this status. This status alone will not cancel a delivery but is a warning to the user that if they need these items, they should reach out to their recommender to get an updated letter. The recommender will not be notified.
Exclamation Point This is a problem document. Letters with this status should prompt Interfolio to cancel this delivery. The recommender of this letter will be notified about the issue.

The letter writer can replace the letter directly from this page.



What does Interfolio check during the quality check process?

Interfolio will check the following items when performing the quality check of letters:

  • If the file containing the letter is viewable
  • If the letter has a physical or digital signature
  • If the letter is on an official letterhead. This includes a logo/seal
  • If the letter is written about the correct person
  • If the document is actually a letter of recommendation

We do not check for cosmetic issues, spelling, or grammar.


Applicants will be notified of the results of the quality check process within four business days. Interfolio employees will never disclose the specific or summarized contents of the letter of recommendation. Through the Quality Control process, Interfolio will notify applicants of specific details or qualities of their letter (letterhead, signature, and more), as described in this article.


Types of signatures that Interfolio identifies through the quality check process

Interfolio understands that signatures are in most cases a requirement. Interfolio will reach out if the signature exists and what type of signature is in the letter. Most institutions, fellowship programs, and various other opportunities may require the traditional handwritten signature. If by chance the letter includes another type of signature or no signature at all, get in contact with the letter writer/evaluator in order to get that letter updated with the proper formatting.

Signature Description

The letter writer/evaluator has put pen to paper and wrote their signature on the letter. Because the signature is written in by the letter writer, questions may arise on how to submit this letter. If choosing to have the letter writer submit their letter electronically, the letter writer will need to have the ability to scan their document to a computer, save it, and then submit it through the emailed request they receive. Letter writers can also mail their letter to Interfolio if the printed form option of delivery is chosen in the letter request form. 

A signature is a handwritten (and often stylized) depiction of someone's name, nickname, or even a simple "X" or other mark that a person writes on documents as proof of identity and intent. The point is the handwritten signature has to be written on the document by the signer.

Digital The digital signature is simply a small block of data that is attached to signed documents. It is generated from a digital ID, which includes both a private and public key. The private key is used to apply the signature to the document, while the public key is sent with the file. Digital signatures usually include a mark or stamp to authenticate it. Most organizations will accept a digital signature in place of a handwritten one. A digital signature is a type of electronic signature that encrypts documents with digital codes that are particularly difficult to duplicate.
None When the writer typed their name in the signature block and changed the font to a more stylized type font, or does not include anything in the signature block. These are not considered a signature.

When will Interfolio quality check?

Quality check time is four business days. A confidential letter of recommendation enters the quality check process in two ways:

  1. When a letter of recommendation is used in a delivery, the document will be quality checked at that time.
  2. Once a user upgrades to Dossier Deliver, a quality check of all letters that were submitted will be performed. 

How do I send my letter as-is when a problem has been marked?

Send Letter 'As-Is' When a Problem Has Been Marked During a Quality Check

Letters marked as problem documents will not be sent unless specified by the user or the letter writer. Applicants can mark the document as okay to send by following the steps below.


Send Letter 'As-Is'

  1. Navigate to Letters on the navigation bar.
    Letters selected on the navigation menu
  2. Click View Details adjacent to any letter that has failed the quality check (there will be a red exclamation point).
    View details selected adjacent to file with red exclamation point
  3. Scroll down and select Please send this letter as-is under the Delivery Options section.
    Please send this letter as-is options selected under the Delivery Options section

If the user does this, we will not cancel any deliveries that the letter is in.



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